Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Working Man's Studio

Spring has finally arrived at Retama!  Gone are the 3 months of cloudy & rainy days which made picture-taking and simply getting outside difficult.  Okay, so we didn't have snow, but this winter has been considered the coldest in South Texas in the last 30 years.   

With blue skies I visited with Gary and Marilyn who have been long time Retama residents. Located in the back corner of a cul de sac this coach house holds a hidden treasure. Gary is a wood carver, but not just an ordinary wood widdler, he specializes in birds and in Santa's and his work is awe-inspiring!
Gary's enthusiasm and love of 'wood' created a work carving nook in the corner.  The shuttered windows open for more light
Gary designed the workshop so that it can be taken out by removing 3 screws.

The five large windows open to their beautiful gardens.
This 12x20 coach house is different from all the other coach houses – and reminds me of the little houses in the Cape Providence of South Africa with the shuttered windows and brightly colored interiors. 

One of the builder's floor plans offers a screened in porch – Gary's builder background had the porch windows put on the side so they could enjoy the beautiful backyard and their patio. The windows were then shuttered, when open allow light to filter in all day, the perfect answer to creating the wood cravers perfect studio. The shutters close tight during the summer.

Gary started woodworking in 2004. His son, Michael is a world famous taxidermist and has help Gary to refine his birds.  His carvings have won many awards, I can see why, the attention to every detail is amazing.  I just love this Santa!

The birch and maple wood used on the bases of each bird comes from their farm in Wisconsin.
Gary's carvings can be found at the Door County Art League in Wisconsin, local gift shops and in art shows and exhibits.

If you are ever in Mission Texas during the winter, Gary and Marilyn's coach house is well worth a visit. Come on by their door is always open!

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